VIENNA, July 12 -- Austria on Wednesday condemned the Bosnian Serb capture of the eastern Bosnian enclave of Srebenica, and said the United Nations 'must either act or withdraw' from war-torn former Yugoslavia. Foreign Minister Wolfgang Schuessel termed the Serb takeover of Srebrenica a form of ethnic cleansing.
The Serbs on Tuesday overrran Srebrenica, a mostly Muslim enclave in eastern Bosnia-Herzegovina that had been designated as a U.N.-protected 'safe area.' A flood of mostly Muslim refugees fled from the fallen city, triggering memories of earlier forcible evictions of Muslims and Croats from Serb-captured territory. At a joint news conference with his Indian counterpart, Schuessel said the Bosnian Serb takeover was 'unacceptable' and called on the United Nations to take greater, more effective action in Bosnia- Herzegovina or pull its peackeeping troops from the region. The United Nations 'must either act or withdraw,' Schuessel said. He said he would support using the planned 10,000-troop U.N. rapid reaction force to free detained peacekeeping troops in Bosnia- Herzegovina and secure humanitarian aid deliveries in the region. Schuessel said he would push his colleagues to act at next week's meeting of European Union foreign ministers. Schuessel's comments followed a meeting with Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who finished a two-day visit to Austria Wednesday.